What is this all about? What happens at a Maniphesto Gathering? What can I expect if I come along?
For someone who was not there, it is impossible to describe exactly what happens at our events. In many ways, they are unique and special and are dependant on every man who is there, never to be experienced again.
We can however give a taste of what it is that happens, and therefore we have collected some material from the event this year and will share it here.
The theme for the 2020 event was Fatherhood, using the tongue-in-cheek tagline “Make Fathers Great Again”.
The actual content of the weekend is the product of thousands of hours of planning throughout the year by the many men of the crew. We have a central planning team who set out the overall plan. A crew of about 50 men pour their passion and energy into the process where the focus is for us to develop and grow as leaders, as well as bring our very deepest gifts and insights to the participants.
Decentralised teams take responsibility for individual areas of the program, while each team leader then coordinates with the central planning group to ensure an integrated and smooth journey for all the participants.
The rough storyline of the event was that we used Friday to open up, meet each other and connect. The Friday team led us from the opening circle into a journey from birth, through development of boyhood and teenage years into fatherhood.
Friday evening, all the men also met their Core groups for the first time and started the sharing process there. These groups met regularly throughout the weekend and were the primary “sensemaking” vehicle for all the participants to navigate their way.
Saturday morning before breakfast, we opened a potent ritual focused on “Toxic Fatherhood”, aimed at bringing to the surface the pain from childhood experiences of being rejected, bullied, hurt and attacked by male figures in our lives.
Then the whole of Saturday we dug into male archetypes, developing strong boundaries and building a sense of collaborative brotherhood, before the Saturday evening where we did a ritual for purification by a fire.
Sunday morning, we all packed into a bus, and drove out to the rough Danish West coast ocean, where we had our 100 man baptism ritual, which looked like this:
Absolutely magical, and if you haven’t read Eivinds blog post on that swim on that experience, then you should check it out.
Right after the swim, we took our group picture from the event. I have attached it here in a high resolution, so that you can do what I just spent some time doing this morning and recommend you doing too – spend a couple of minutes this morning looking at it, zooming all the way in and looking at the faces of every man in the shot.
So beautiful to see the expressions in the picture of peace, exhilaration, focus, clarity, men freezing their ass off after the cold Northern Sea, but smiling anyway, and every other unique story coming through the weekend.
This is what Maniphesto is all about!
The final ritual of the 2020 EMG was “The Blessing of the Father”. That one is still hard for me to put into words, but we will have some video material describing it later, so I will leave it out here.
So much for my description. In case you prefer seeing it for yourself, we have posted some video material from the EMG on our Youtube Channel: